Well, as last time, I’m just gonna hit you guys with all the thoughts and ideas that ramble through my head during class (It’s like my opinion, man), so away we go:
Peer Reviews – You know, I used to hate sharing my work as a freshman, sophomore or let’s just say a really long time. Not that I didn’t think my stuff was legit, it was that I was worried about what others would say. As we can tell by some of the thoughts I force on to you guys now, I’ve lost that fear. But as an incoming student, to a University, it has to be more intimidating then my weak junior college comp class experience with peer reviews.
The point to all this self-reflecting b.s is that I find now that it really does matter to me what other people think, especially those around me who have the same aspirations and drive and love for the field and the students and on and on. Again, without too much rambling, I find that to have these introduced early on, while being painful to some, is still the right way to go and key to the revision process.
*As a side note: I did notice the day we did peer reviews that the students seemed slow to get to it. Our group’s students are awesome too, so it surprised me to see the confusion or lack of motivation or timidity in them. Charles got them back on track, but I still couldn’t figure out their internal dilemma.
Quick Write– I love the quick writes. They are a great tool to get ideas and discussions flowing in class, but also serve as a good place to create ideas for future inquiry. An example of this is the quick writes we do in Fiction writing. I thought the prompts got you headed in a direction, but the prompt also took you places outside it as well. In turn, these sparked ideas for other writings that may not have been struck without those quick writes.
*As a side note: There is no side not.
Google Docs– I F#(%!N& hate Google Docs…because I haven’t used it enough. Google Docs is a great place to have students sharing ideas with one another. The comment function is also cool because it allows anybody to leave feedback at any time. I think this would come in handy, especially if you are looking to have students do multiple peer reviews. By each student being able to leave their comments on one doc, it allows for the student author to have numerous viewpoints to riff off of and it’s all tidied up on one doc, right there at the click of a button.
My only concern, as pointed out in the beginning, is that I’m not an avid user of it yet, and need to really polish my computer skills up if I ever wanna stay afloat in the ever changing world of education.
Past Student Work– The videos we watched in 130 of previous student’s final projects were an awesome way to let the current students see what can be accomplished with some effort. It may discourage some at first because they feel they can’t live up to these standards, but it will also build confidence as they go and see that they are creating something just as, if not more, successful.
*As a side note: I was impressed and intimidated by those videos, so I’m sure the students had to feel something similar; at least some of them.
Kim– There was a Monday when we were to go over some sample essay in 130, and Kim could tell they were antsy to chit-chat. So instead of saying, We gotta do this thing so we can get this other thing done, she told them to take a minute and bullshit with each other about whatever and then when those few minutes were up, it was time to get to it and read. I just thought that this honest approach is exactly how I always see myself in the classroom. I think it lets the students know that you are human too and can recognize when there is a need for a break in the monotony of education.
Charles– Just because I’ve had a beer or two too many with the guy doesn’t mean that I’ll agree with the way he runs his group or the workshop. But I’d be lying if I said anything other than the truth (Kris, ya like that Yogi-esque wording (Ah, she’ll never read this anyway…lol)). But seriously, Charles is always making sure everyone is on track and up to speed, while still allowing them the freedom to fly or fall on their own. Not saying though that he lets them fall far either. Again, he is always there, making sure that the tools they need are given to them as much as he can provide. The only thing left is for those students to take them and put them to use.
Something else I like that Charles does is he gets the students out of those stuffy-cramped rooms and lets them breathe up on the fourth floor of the library. I never knew how nice it was and warm and inviting. There’s almost no way to not feel as though you can accomplish more up there. There’s something about the sun shining in and the way the tops of the buildings around are somehow inviting, like an extended escape from the reality of school. Little do you know though that all you are thinking about is the work you’re doing. It’s so nice, I can’t say enough. I just think that this allows for the students to feel the freedom of being a college student and gets them more willing to participate as an aspiring scholar, rather than a student forced to write.
* FIN *